House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said Thursday that talks between the White House and Democrats on COVID-19 relief will only resume when Republicans provide $2 trillion.
It’s not clear when Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) will meet again with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other White House officials.
“I don’t know. When they come in with $2 trillion,” she said when was asked about when talks might restart. “We can’t wait until Sept. 30. People will die,” she added.
According to Pelosi’s office, she and Mnuchin spoke on Wednesday by phone. But the conversation didn’t break the stalemate, with Pelosi saying that she made the $2 trillion offer, and Mnuchin responding with a rejection.
“She made clear that she was unwilling to meet to continue negotiations unless we agreed” on the measure “costing at least $2 trillion,” he told reporters, adding that they aren’t willing to negotiate.
He also characterized the call with Pelosi as “not an accurate reflection of our conversation.”
The HEROES Act is worth about $3.4 trillion, while Republicans’ HEALS Act is worth about $1 trillion.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters that Pelosi’s $1 trillion offer is unspecific, adding that the top Democrats “wouldn’t even tell us what they would take out of the $1 trillion.”
“So, they said we’d come down a trillion, but wouldn’t list out the things they would take out of their Democrat wish list,” she added. “Nancy Pelosi needs to come back from recess and negotiate because the American people deserve better.”